POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – At his memorial service Tuesday, the family of Blane Lane saw his dream come true, one he could no longer fulfill on his own.
From a young age, Lane wanted to become a deputy and someday, be elected as Polk County Sheriff.
He researched Sheriff Grady Judd. He made his parents take regular trips to his house, just to drive by it.
“Blane would watch my press conferences and quote my lines. He told everyone he was going to be a deputy sheriff and one day he was going to be the sheriff,” said Sheriff Judd.
It was Grady Judd, Lane’s idol, who helped him realize that goal.
But Lane wasn’t here to see it.
“To complete Deputy Sheriff Lane’s faraway dream that Blane can’t attain on his own, I’m going to promote Deputy Blane Lane to honorary sheriff for all eternity,” said Sheriff Judd.
Members of law enforcement, dignitaries and loved ones came together Tuesday morning at Victory Church in Lakeland to remember Blane Lane, 21, who was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 4.
Lane graduated from Mulberry High School in 2020. Soon after, he enrolled in the police academy and became a detention deputy in May 2021.
In January of 2022, he started working as a deputy sheriff.
For his family, it wasn’t that long ago Lane was a little kid full of energy and adventure.
“When he was two years old, he wanted to be a bull rider. Of course, I was the bull,” said his grandfather, Darren Sodders, Lane’s grandfather.
Lane loved playing “cops and robbers” with his cousins. He was always the sheriff.
His favorite car was a Dodge Charger.
“His passion was more than just becoming a deputy, he genuinely wanted to help people and make a difference in their life,” said Sodders.
“Blane will be remembered for the greatness of his heart, his nobility of spirit, his infectious smile and his positive attitude. I will remember Deputy Dheriff Lane for his valor,” said Sheriff Judd.
After the bell tolled, the guns saluted and the bagpipes played, the 21-year old father was laid to rest.
“Blane, I love you. You’re my son, I’m proud of you and I will see you again,” said Wayne Lane, Lane’s father.
“Rest well Sheriff Lane,” said Sheriff Judd.